wakao toshisada

wakao toshisada

WAKAO Toshisada.jpg

wakao toshisada 若尾利貞(1933- )

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Descended from a long line of potters, Wakao Toshisada began working at his father's kiln as a young teenager. By day he assisted in his father's work, but in the evenings Wakao developed his own personal artistic style. He found the most success in a novel form of the traditional Shino ware, in which he incorporates delicate Rimpa school-style painting on the surface. 

The Shino technique dates back to the 16th century in Japan. The lore surrounding the style holds that one Japanese master traveled to China, and upon his return he tried to recreate the beautiful white porcelain he had seen there. While unsuccessful in his original goal, this master instead created what we now know as Shino. Wakao has transformed the Shino tradition by coming to his work as a painter would approach a canvas. 

Here, a sensitive different shades of grey Shino glaze provides the ground for a beautiful progression of flora. Like a Rimpa school scroll, this plate displays season: Susuki grass and Reeds for autumn. The round form and mix of shiny and matte surfaces enhance the delicate beauty of the plate. Wakao's supreme artistry is certainly on display here-he has elevated the Shino style to a higher plane, and created a beautiful plate.




Important Intangible Culture Artistic Skill Holder of Tajimi City, Gifu Prefecture

 in 2003.




Tokyo National Modern Museum

International Exchange Foundation

Victoria Albert Museum, London

East Asian Museum, Stockholm

Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.


1933    Born in Tajimi-city, Gifu Prefecture

    Studied Shino glaze independently while working at a ceramic factory 

1970    Became independent


Selected Solo Exhibition


Meitetsu Department Store Gallery, Takashimaya Department Store Gallery

Matsuzakaya Department Store Gallery, Temman-ya Department Store Gallery, Tokiha, Ohnuma, Daimaru Department Store Gallery, Yamato, 

Maruko Department Store Gallery, Kintetsu Department Store Gallery, 

Seibu Department Store Gallery, Tobu Department Store Gallery, 

Keio Department Store Gallery, Kuroda Toen Gallery, Kokogen Gallery

Ito Bijutsu Gallery, Kantori Gallery, Fujisaki, 

NK Department Store (Sweden)

Takashimaya Department Store Gallery, Tokyo Nihonbashi, Nagoya and Takasaki (forthcoming).


Selected Awards


Chubu Art Exhibition, New Craft Exhibition, 

Gifu Prefecture Design Competition, Asahi Ceramic Exhibition, 

Japan Traditional Craft Exhibition, Japan Ceramic Exhibition, 

Mino New Artist Award, China-Japan International Ceramic Exhibition